GRSJ 300 99C: Intersectional Approaches to Thinking Gender
Culture Jam Assignment
This culture jam features a current advertisement that was deprived from an online booking website, Hotels.com. This advertisement’s platform is to increase hotel stays through marketing Canada’s vast recreational parks- as seen in the imagery.
The ‘problem’ I will be addressing in my jamming is environment deterioration that occurs because of tourism and exploring how the advertisement appropriates the environment in a national and capitalistic discourse. The advertisement highlights the environment as a platform to increase tourism and fast capitalism for the hotels. It appropriates the Canadian environment as its selling point because of its natural ‘beauty’. As we can see in the image, the aqua coloured water, the calm water and borderline with trees marks Canada as peaceful, clean and pure. The canoe in the pictures are inviting as a form of recreation and a tool for future exploring the body of water. Although this the advertisement is to increase hotel stays it does not include pictures of a hotel or their business partners in the image. They use the beauty and materialize the idea of the environment to sell a hotel stay.
The advertisement, is an inauthentic representation of what visiting Canada would be like. Instead it creates a generalization of Canada and minimizing it to only to what is deemed beautiful and an attractive environment. Its imagery is fabricated to entice people through the staged image of the park and it does not allow for genuine experiences or actual representations of what life is like in Canada. Furthermore, with my jammed image I will emphasize the ways in which tourism impacts the environment and I will speak to the negative consequences of this example of a tourism advertisement.
The alteration of this advertisement was the addition of the ending text ‘but the environment is’, this is to expose the environment consequences of tourism. The goal was to emphasise that although ‘Canada is not going anywhere’ as the advertisement suggests, the land as we know it will not remain the same with unsustainable practices of fast consumerism that tourism and in particular a hotel ‘visit’ suggest and exploring the opportunist, consumer, exploratory discourse in the original advertisement.
As mentioned previously, this advertisement highlights the beauty of the land but does not demonstrate the garbage, pollution, clear cutting for roads, man-made alterations to the environment, the negative indigenous and land relationships that occurs with tourism and national recreational park grounds.
First, it does not hold the tourist or demonstrate the long-term implications of pollution and environmental damage that is caused by fast consumer model that tourism and visiting has such as emissions from cars, increased production and building in nearby areas of parks, increased population and more long term unsustainable practices. Through a capitalist model, imperialistic, expansionist model of consumer the Hotels.com does not become politically involved and rather it benefits from highlighting the environmental ‘beauty’. If they were to expose or suggest sustainable practices it would be deemed as less profitable. In addition, since they are not demonstrating any hotels they are essentially detached from the repercussions of the environment.
Secondly, the advertisement has subverted colonial and expansionist framework imbedded in its imagery by having a captain and a national flag beside him serving as an exploration marker. It provides visitors an opportunity to ‘explore’ these lands as well. In addition, the text suggests ‘visiting first’, hence it aims to view booking as an opportunity to explore options through a transaction. The emphasis on visiting suggests fast consumerism and no commitment or connection to the land for the visitors other than the beauty of the land as seen the picture.
By exposing the negative repercussions of tourism on the environment and critiquing the capitalist and expansionist ideology we can become critical to how we as consumers must go beyond what is deemed as ‘beautiful’ and be critical of the consequences of consumerism on our environment.